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NBC Waste No Time With Amazon Deal

NBCLast Friday (Aug 31) Jordan blogged about the alleged bust-up between NBC Universal and Apple over pricing – also covering the speculation over alternative partners and forecasting a speedy counter-decision from NBC executives.

Well, our First Lady (no offence to Mrs Beal) wasn’t wrong; NBC wasted no time in securing a new download outlet for their premium television shows – swiftly signing a partnership deal to host their digital TV content with Amazon’s Unbox – an online store already selling NBC Universal’s movies.

This represents another blow to Apple – Universal Music Group had already decided not to renew their contract for music downloads over a decision to offer DRM-free content across other networks.

NBC Ditches iTunes

Claiming they’re unable to come to an agreement on pricing, NBC Universal has declined to renew their contract with iTunes to sell downloads of their television shows. The New York Times reports today that NBC, which has provided 40% of iTunes’ video downloads, “is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue.”

Riiiight. Pricing. I totally buy that reasoning, and so does Mike Arrington—NOT. NBC’s crazily-named video site, Hulu.com, launches in private beta in October. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start selling their licensed content there.

Viacom Once Again Abusing DMCA?

image It appears Viacom hasn’t learned its lesson after its last abuse of the DMCA takedown notice. It’s now targeting a YouTube video that includes a clip of a VH1 show, which includes the unauthorized use of video created by the person who uploaded the YouTube clip.

Confused? This should help:

  1. Chris Knight creates a funny video as part of his campaign Rockingham County Board of Education.
  2. Viacom’s VH1 takes the clip from YouTube and uses it in a VH1 segment, without Knight’s permission.
  3. Knight’s flattered and uploads the VH1 clip to YouTube.
  4. Viacom accuses Knight of copyright infringement and YouTube takes down the video.

Absurd? It doesn’t get any more ridiculous than that!

Knight is obviously feeling victimized by Viacom…

YouTube Complies with Viacom, Makes Deal for Music Royalties

As always, copyright issues abound for Google’s video-sharing darling, YouTube. First, Google Blogoscoped found YouTube complying with a copyright take down request from Viacom. Not huge news, other than the fact that the clip in question was apparently featured another clip—which Viacom had used without permission. The removed clip was uploaded by the actual copyright holder, producer Chris Knight.

Wait, what? Let’s walk through that again. Web Junk 2.0, a Viacom-owned VH1 show, used a video clip produced by Chris Knight without his permission. Knight, the rightful copyright holder, uploads the Web Junk 2.0 clip of his clip. Viacom files the standard DMCA take down notice with YouTube so they can take down their stolen stolen content. YouTube complies.

YouTube Rival Finally Named: Hulu.com Almost in Beta

The NBC/News Corp online video project–designed to rival YouTube–has finally received a name. As Jordan spotted, Hulu.com is now accepting beta invite requests.

hulu

Where in the world did they get the name “Hulu”? CEO Jason Kilar explains

Why Hulu? Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we’re building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world’s premier content when, where and how you want it.

While you can sign-up for the beta now, you won’t be able to get access until October.

An Alternative to Advertising?

The New York Times today covers the history of micropayments. Once heralded as the next wave in economics and banking, micropayments were quickly maligned in academic circles. Processing costs were just one reason of many cited to explain why the phenomenon would never catch on—especially online.

And yet today, micropayments seem to be thriving online. Single-song download services, with songs priced as low as $0.94 and stock photos from $1 are just a few examples of a system that seems to have found its home on the Internet.

After citing this example, however, the New York Times goes on to state that micropayments are ultimately failing online—and one reason for this is Google AdSense.

vTap Will Revitalise Mobile Video Search

vTap Veveo™, a Massachusetts based company funded by VC (originally to work on their concept of Video on IP for personalised television), will launch a new video search application on September 10 – designed specifically for mobile the creators hope that vTap will revitalise users enthusiasm for media on the small screen.

Rafe Needleman, over at Webware, was also lucky enough to get a personal demo of the new app from founder and CEO, Murali Aravamudan – who outlined the concept behind the solution.

[The] service does not dive into the actual audio or video content of files to create its search index. Rather, it uses the metadata (tags, and text on the page where the file is hosted) to create its video index.